Sharing News Online: Analysing the Significance of a Social Media Phenomenon

ARC Linkage Project, LP 140100148
July 2014 – July 2017

Industry partners:
Ninemsn and Share Wars (Hal Crawford, Andrew Hunter, Domagoj Filipovic)

Chief Investigator:


Co-Investigators:




Researchers:
Honorary Associate Professor Virginia Nightingale


Description and aims:
This project will analyse the scale, scope, forms and implications of online news-sharing on social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. It will be the first systematic, large scale, public investigation of this shift in news consumption internationally and will contribute to our understanding of news values, cross-media news development and digital media diversity. The team will critically evaluate startup research conducted by partner organisations Share Wars and ninemsn and using an updated version of their Likeable Engine will gather data on most shared stories from major news publications worldwide. This study has five aims:

  1. using computational linguistics and media sociology to develop a robust, accurate and usable software tool and a theoretically sound classification schema to enable news-sharing analysis.
  2. using genre and topicality analysis, to investigate the types of content shared and the discursive characteristics of most shared stories .
  3. using discourse analysis, to investigate the news values and linguistic characteristics of the shared story dataset/s, with a focus on the language and expressive features emphasized in most shared stories.
  4. to conduct audience research using the ninemsn website, which will probe the nature of users’ news sharing practices and networks.
  5. to draw on the data generated by the project components to explore the implications of news sharing for industry development and media policy.


Funding awarded: $142,000

Publications:
Martin F. (2014) The Case for Curatorial Journalism, or, can you really be an ethical aggregator? In Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices, edited D. A. Craig and L. Zion. New York: Routledge. pp.102-134

Bednarek M, Curran J, Dwyer T, Martin, F and Nothman J (2015) ‘All the news that’s fit to share’: Investigating the language of ‘most shared’ news stories. Proceedings Corpus Linguistics 2015, Lancaster University. http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/cl2015/

Bednarek, M (2016) Investigating evaluation and news values in news items that are shared via social media. Corpora, Vol. 11 (2): 227–257, DOI: 10.3366/cor.2016.0093


Conference presentations:
Bednarek M, Curran J, Dwyer T, Martin, F and Nothman J (2015) ‘All the news that’s fit to share’: Investigating the language of ‘most shared’ news stories, Corpus Linguistics 2015, Lancaster University, UK. 21st to 24th July

Dwyer T. And Martin F. (2015) How Did They Get Here? The Likeable Engine, Dark Referrals And The Problematic Of Social Media News Analytics. The 5th ICTs and Society Conference, ISIS 4 Summit 2015, 3-7th June Vienna

Martin, F. And Dwyer T. How Did They Get Here? (2015) The Likeable Engine, Dark Referrals And The Problematic Of Social Media News Analytics. IAMCR 2015, University Of Quebec. Montreal. 12-16th July

Bednarek, M (2015) The Language Of Shared News. 6th International Language In The Media Conference 2015. University Of Hamburg, 7-9th September

Dwyer T and Martin F (2016) Sharing News Online: Using computational data metrics for social media news quality and voice plurality assessments. ‘Media Performance & Democracy – Defining and Measuring the Quality of News’. ICA pre-conference. Fukuoka, Japan. 9th June 2016

Martin F (2016) What’s not to like?: genre and topicality in news sharing on Facebook and Twitter. 4th World Journalism Education Congress, Auckland, New Zealand. July